'Story-telling is an ingrained habit; I wouldn't know what else to do. But the mythology that is intriguing today is that of imagined alternatives. Somehow, choice and contingency have landed you where you are, as the person that you are, and the whole process seems so precarious that you look back at those climatic moments when things might have gone differently, when life might have spun off in some other direction, and wonder at this apparently arbitrary outcome.'
In this fascinating new piece of fiction, Penelope Lively takes moments from her own life and asks 'what if' she had made other choices: what if she hadn't escaped from Alexandria at the outbreak of WWII? What would her life have been like if she had become pregnant when she was 18? If she had married someone else? If she taken a different job? If she had lived her life abroad? In this highly original work, Penelope Lively examines alternative destinies, choices and the moments in our lives when we could have chosen a different path . . .